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Since there are many how to's on how to remove the cluster I'm skipping on that.

How to: Install Reverse Glow and Modify Escort Cluster needles to any color.
This how to is made to help other Escort owners to modify the cluster needles to any color. As you can see mine where modified to red in a combination of the reverse glow faces for the sport cluster, to have that racing look.

I took some time to decide on how I wanted my cluster to look since I never seen any one doing mods to an Escort in my town, especially on the cluster. Since I had a STD cluster, no tach, but had the reverse glow gauges, I was thinking on doing some mods to it but didn't know what, so looking for a sport parts I got a deal on eBay. I got the sport cluster. Later on thinking on how to change the needles color with out painting it like I have seen done on other cars.

This is what is needed for make the cluster look like the one above.
1. The cluster (obvious part) sport or non sport version.
2. Reverse Glow Gauges, any style that fit your likes (Euro or Standard) mine is a standard version donated by BOOSTER_PR
3. LED Bulbs (not any type or it will not illuminate properly) the ones recommended will be mentioned later.

Procedure I'm starting first with the reverse glow gauges to minimize assembly/disassembly on the car and moving back and forth to the car. Also I recommend doing everything at once.

1. Remove the cluster from car, and then go to a workbench (kitchen table).
2. With all gauges at full view take you new reverse glow gauges and apply a tiny square of double sided tape to the original black face, not to the new reverse gauge (this will hold it in place when assembling it back together. See Notes below.
3. Put each EL in its place making sure is properly positioned. Then press on the double tape to keep it in position.
4. Clean the clear plastic lens. If it have scratches clean it with a bit of rubbing compound; trust me it works.
5. Assemble it back together. Finish the installation on the car with the rest of the reverse gauge parts. (The Inverter and connections).

For the color of the needles: Very easy to do.
1. First take out the cluster if it installed on the car; if it's already out then remove all bulbs (the ones with the black knob, RED arrow) those are illumination bulbs socket with 194 Sylvania bulbs.


You can save those for use later on other car or what ever you want to do.

2. Remove the bulb from the black socket and replace it with the LED. Remember that you can use any color you like. RED or BLUE is the best looking; but Amber, Green, Indigo, White can be used too. See notes below.


3. Reinstall the black socket.
4. It's a good time to clean the warning lights to prevent burnouts. Remember not to touch them especially since this is a not a common bulb. Because if their size it may be a little hard to take out, but with the help of some pliers it can be taken out from the cluster. No liquid is necessary just a paper towel is what's needed.


5. Now that everything in its place, test it in the car by plugging the black connector before assembling it back together.


Testing is necessary if using a LED other than the one I used because not every LED has a polarized circuit. That means that a LED will work as a normal bulb but there are LED's that need the correct polarity to work. Anode (+) Cathode (-)

If everything looks the way you want it, finish connecting remaining connectors to the cluster and assemble it back on the car.

Pointer: if you are upgrading to a sport cluster like I did; carefully pull up on the speedometer on both your original cluster and on the upgrade cluster and swap them. Put your Speedo on the sport cluster. And now you don't need to worry about the mileage.

Notes:
*For LED remember not to use wide angle, inverted cone type LED's as they do not illuminate properly into the needle, don't try it I have tried all kinds of LED's before finding one that accomplished the near perfect look. Single Dome shaped LED's work but the best results where achieved by using a 4 dome LED from Jam Strait. If purchasing from eBay I recommend u2led, they have a similar product for the Jam Strait 194 LED. BTW 194 LED is really a 168 which will fit perfectly.

*If you have the reverse glow gauges like I did. I recommend using 3M gray double sided tape to keep them in place. Do not remove the needles, the white face will fit over the needles. Just put them as precise as possible; the needles will move but it is OK once installed move the needle to the middle if it's for temp or fuel. If it is for Speedo or Tach make sure is in zero. The ECU will send the correct info and recalibrate it with the information received.

There, you are done; you have an Escort gauge panel modified with color needles and reverse gauge. Looks nice doesn't it. Be Proud of your work.
 

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Just to pipe in. The 168 and the 194 are not the same. They use the same base but the 168 is technically a brighter bulb. But with LEDs I don't think it would matter.

Good write up, I'm not a fan of the reverse glow face plate as I think a white face on the gauges is tacky.
 

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silverton said:
Just to pipe in. The 168 and the 194 are not the same. They use the same base but the 168 is technically a brighter bulb. But with LEDs I don't think it would matter.

Good write up, I'm not a fan of the reverse glow face plate as I think a white face on the gauges is tacky.
When I wrote 194 the same as 168 I was referencing on the LED.
Thanks, I will be making up more how too's I kind like this.
 

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I have a 95 escort lx and would love to get my gauges to look exactly like yours but am having a very hard time finding reverse glow gauges with the appearance of yours. Any ideas??
 

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kind of a crappy pic, but here are my 2nd gen reverse glow gauges. I bought them from Corksport.com:



daytime pic:

 

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